Desperately Seeking Sustainability

Yale’s Digital Collections Center image

Apologies, Desperately Seeking Susan, for the poor pun.




Hi DHP14.

I wish I were having the dataset success of Liam, Sarah, James, and, I imagine, others (in my vivid imagination you are all succeeding marvelously). Liam, I tried to follow your line of investigation and wound up in a Mallet vortex that left me feeling more out of my depth than before. In order to find a tool that felt a little bit more manageable, I poked around on diRT again. Since the scope of possibilities felt overwhelmingly vast, I looked to the dhcommons directory of projects to see if some might bring me some amazing idea. Beside seemingly active projects (Entity Mapper, Boston Marathon archive, Modernist Versions Project, Pulp), there were many forgotten ends (Forget Me Not’s sadly forgotten guest book, Bulgarian dialectology) or unrealized projects (Kanon Foundation archive) or proposals unlinked to their outcomes (Fordham DH pedagogy). While I grant that this database, an initiative of CenterNet, might not be their primary focus, the seemingly short shelf-life of some of these projects seems relevant to the approaching Tom Scheinfeldt visit. In his webinar on October 14th, he discussed generating funding and the human needs of maintaining these projects both in terms of community and of maintenance.

I googled digital sustainability (I know I’m not the only anxious person). About 50,400,000 results. Jisc, historically Joint Information Systems Committee– now just Jisc, has a guide to sustainability, but it hasn’t relieved my mind much.

Now back to the task I (data)set out to accomplish. If anyone has good suggestions for text analysis tools for the tech-challenged (beyond the Manovich-maligned tag cloud), please point me in the right direction.



Also, I really enjoyed this image (even though I’m not talking about sustainability in terms of digital decomposition….)

Kyle Bean, The Future of Books

4 thoughts on “Desperately Seeking Sustainability

  1. Sarah Cohn

    Have you looked at Many Eyes? It was also somewhat maligned by Manovich, but in addition to tag clouds they offer word trees and phrase maps, (learn more–>visualization types–>analyze a text). It requires a (free) account to upload your own text but it is pretty easy to use.

  2. Jojo Karlin (she/her/hers) Post author

    I am having major troubles with Java on my computer. I recently downloaded the new Mas OS X Yosemite and I keep getting notifications of things alleging incompatibility. I can’t get ManyEyes to run any of the more interesting maps (they claim I lack proper plugins, though the Java verifier says I have Java 8). Nor will my computer even open Gephi, though I’ve installed, uninstalled, reinstalled.
    Any advice??

  3. Jojo Karlin (she/her/hers) Post author

    I found some instructions — seems the newer Java for Mas OS X doesn’t work with Gephi so I have to downgrade. I am now having issues figuring out where to change Gephi settings… Can you decipher?

    Download and install JAVA 1.6:

    Delete your gephi settings dir: rm -r ~/Library/Application\ Support/gephi

    Find your java home with /usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6, it should print something like /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home

    Edit /Applications/ to set your jdkhome e.g. like this: echo “jdkhome=\”$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6)\”” >> /Applications/

    Start Gephi and open the Les Miserables sample, if you see the graph good.

    Check Gephi’s about for the line saying Java: 1.6.0_65; Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM 20.65-b04-466.1

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